Rebellion Developments

Rebellion Developments Limited is a British video game developer based in Oxford, England. Founded by Jason and Chris Kingsley in December 1992, the company is best known for its Sniper Elite series and multiple games in the Alien vs. Predator series. Sister company Rebellion Publishing has published comic books since 2000, when it purchased 2000 AD, the publisher of characters such as Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper.

Rebellion Developments Limited
IndustryVideo games
Comic books (from 2000)
Feature films (from 2017)
Founded4 December 1992; 31 years ago (1992-12-04)
Area served
Key people
  • Jason Kingsley (CEO)
  • Chris Kingsley (CTO)
Number of employees
475 (2022[1])
  • Rebellion Liverpool
  • Rebellion North
  • Rebellion Film Studios
  • Rebellion Publishing
  • Rebellion Warwick

History edit

Origins (1992–1999) edit

Rebellion was founded on 4 December 1992 by brothers Jason and Chris Kingsley in Oxford, England.[2][3] The pair had just finished academic degrees at the University of Oxford, and had ambitions of starting doctorates.[3] In their spare time, they did freelance work in the games industry.[3] When their freelance jobs roles began to expand and they were taking on more management responsibilities, they decided to establish Rebellion in Oxford.[3] The foundation of the studio was laid when the brothers secured a deal with video game publisher Atari UK.[3] They presented a 3D dragon flight game demo to directors at the publisher, who were seeking games for the upcoming Atari Jaguar system.[3] They were commissioned by Atari to work on two titles for the Jaguar, Checkered Flag and Alien vs Predator, which both released in 1994.[3] The development team was expanded to assist with work on these games. It included artists Stuart Wilson, Toby Banfield, and Justin Rae and programmers Mike Beaton, Rob Dibley, and Andrew Whittaker.[4] Following Alien vs Predator, Rebellion saw no releases for some years, with their next project, the intentionally light-hearted PC game Mr. Tank,[5] going unpublished.

Expansion and comics (2000–2009) edit

Over the course of the decade, Rebellion underwent rapid expansion with numerous acquisitions of other studios and properties. This wave of expansions included the purchase of 2000 AD from Fleetway Publications, which began Rebellion's first foray into comic books.[6] In addition to further publications under the label, Rebellion began to develop associated characters for the games market. In 2003 Rebellion released the game Judge Dredd: Dredd vs. Death.

In 2004, Rebellion entered a deal with DC Comics to reprint several 2000 AD stories in trade paperback form, including Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog, Nikolai Dante, and Sinister Dexter. When DC left the venture, citing poor sales, Rebellion created its own line of American graphic novels, distributed through Simon & Schuster. In 2005 Rebellion also created the Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files series, which has begun reprinting almost every appearance of Judge Dredd in chronological order.

Rebellion's 2005 game Sniper Elite was awarded "Best PC/Console Game" in the TIGA Awards of 2005.[7] Following the release, Rebellion acquired numerous games studios and properties. This began in 2006 with the purchase of Tomb Raider developers Core Design from Eidos Interactive, as well as Strangelite from Empire Interactive, and Elixir Studios' former IPs including Evil Genius and Republic: The Revolution.[8] The acquisitions made Rebellion the largest independent game developer in Europe.[9]

Acquisitions later in the decade were predominantly associated with the growing publishing wing of the company, including Blackfish Publishing and Mongoose Publishing in 2008,[10][11] followed by Cubicle 7 and Solaris Books in 2009.[12][13] On 14 July 2009, the company purchased the Ground Control, Empire Earth, Lords of Magic and Lords of the Realm franchises from Activision. These were ex-Sierra Entertainment properties that the company offloaded due to their new long-term strategy following the Vivendi Games merger.[14][15]

Closure of Derby studio (2009–2010) edit

In 2009, Rebellion's Rogue Warrior game received poor reviews. This was followed by Aliens vs. Predator in 2010, published by Sega, which received a mixed critical reception, but debuted at number one on the UK all formats chart.[16] Significant changes were made in 2010, including staff cuts at their main studio in Oxford as well as the closure of Rebellion Derby – the former Core Design studio which had only been purchased four years previously. Studio CEO Jason Kingsley discussed pivoting their focus to smaller titles in the wake of the changes.[17][18] The move coincided with the end of a property lease. Kingsley commented that "growth is sometimes painful, never more so than in the current climate and we have had to take a long hard look at how we operate our studio network. Strategically we have decided to review the need for the Derby facilities."[19]

Return to growth (2011–present) edit

The mid 2010s saw major successes with the Sniper Elite franchise. The company returned to expansion through the purchase of additional studios and properties, expanding both their computer game and publishing sectors, and further diversified into live action film late in the decade. Kingsley was awarded an OBE in 2012 for his work supporting the sector.[20]

In July 2013, Rebellion bought the Battlezone and the Moonbase Commander franchises during the Atari bankruptcy proceedings.[21] Cubicle 7 left Rebellion in December 2014 via management buyout.[22] Sniper Elite III was released that year, and by September 2015 the series had passed 10 million copies sold worldwide.[23]

In August 2016, Rebellion acquired the post-1970 IPC Youth and Fleetway comics libraries from Egmont.[24][25] It reprinted these under its Treasury of British Comics imprint, including Roy of the Rovers, Wildcat and One-Eyed Jack. This would be followed by an acquisition of the pre-1970 titles from the group in 2018.[26]

In November 2018, Rebellion set up a studio for film and TV series based on 2000 AD characters, the first projects being Judge Dredd: Mega-City One and Rogue Trooper, both directed by Duncan Jones.[27] Rebellion Productions, the film production arm founded in 2017, would occupy a disused newspaper factory in Didcot, England.[28] The studio would launch its first feature film in 2021.[29]

Several games related acquisitions would be made through 2018 and 2019, including the Radiant Worlds, rebranded "Rebellion Warwick"[30] and TickTock games, rebranded "Rebellion North".[31] Rebellion acquired The Bitmap Brothers' library of classic games in 2019.[32]

In 2020 Rebellion acquired Whitaker's Almanack, publishing an edition in the following year, but it announced that there would be no 2022 edition.

In 2021 Rebellion announced a new bi-monthly humour comic, Monster Fun, would begin in 2022.[33]

Subsidiaries edit

Active edit

Defunct edit

Games edit

Games developed edit

Year Title Platform(s)
1991 Jet Pak Jak (cancelled) Game Boy
1993 Eye of the Storm Amiga, MS-DOS
1994 Alien vs Predator Atari Jaguar
Checkered Flag Atari Jaguar
1995 Legions of the Undead (cancelled) Atari Jaguar
1999 Klustar Game Boy Color
Aliens Versus Predator Windows, Classic Mac OS
Mission Impossible Game Boy Color
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six PlayStation
2000 The Mummy Windows, PlayStation
Asterix: Search for Dogmatix Game Boy Color
Gunlok Windows
Largo Winch.//Commando Sar PlayStation
Skyhammer Atari Jaguar
2001 Snood Game Boy Advance
Midnight Club: Street Racing Game Boy Advance
Gunfighter: The Legend of Jesse James PlayStation
2002 Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Lone Wolf PlayStation
Delta Force: Urban Warfare PlayStation
Medal of Honor: Underground Game Boy Advance
Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf Game Boy Advance
2003 Judge Dredd: Dredd vs. Death GameCube, PlayStation 2, Windows, Xbox
Gunfighter II: Revenge of Jesse James PlayStation 2
2004 World War Zero: Iron Storm Windows, PlayStation 2
2005 Sniper Elite PlayStation 2, Wii, Windows, Xbox
Delta Force: Black Hawk Down Windows, PlayStation 2
2006 007: From Russia with Love PlayStation Portable
Dead to Rights: Reckoning PlayStation Portable
Gun: Showdown PlayStation Portable
Rogue Trooper Windows, PlayStation 2, Wii, Xbox
Miami Vice: The Game PlayStation Portable
Delta Force: Black Hawk Down – Team Sabre Windows, PlayStation 2
Prism: Guard Shield Windows
2007 Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron PlayStation Portable
Free Running Windows, PlayStation 2, Wii
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix PlayStation Portable
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem PlayStation Portable
The Simpsons Game PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Wii
2008 Call of Duty: World at War – Final Fronts PlayStation 2
2009 Shellshock 2: Blood Trails Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
PDC World Championship Darts 2009 Wii
Rogue Warrior Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron PlayStation Portable
2010 Aliens vs Predator Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
PDC World Championship Darts: ProTour PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360
Evil Genius: WMD Facebook Platform
2011 Judge Dredd vs. Zombies Android, iOS, Windows Phone
2012 NeverDead PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Sniper Elite V2 Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch
Zombie HQ Android, iOS, Windows
Sinbad iOS
Guns 4 Hire Android, iOS, Windows Phone
2013 Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army Windows
Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 2 Windows
2014 Sniper Elite III Windows, Switch, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
2015 Zombie Army Trilogy Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch
Evil Genius Online Android, Facebook Platform, iOS
2016 Battlezone PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One, Switch
2017 Sniper Elite 4 Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia
2018 Strange Brigade Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch,[45] Stadia
Arca's Path VR Windows, PlayStation 4
2020 Zombie Army 4: Dead War Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, Switch
2021 Evil Genius 2: World Domination Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Sniper Elite VR PlayStation 4, Windows
2022 Sniper Elite 5 Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S

Games published edit

References edit

  1. ^ "About Rebellion".
  2. ^ "REBELLION IS 25!". Gamasutra. 5 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "25 years of Rebellion". GamesTM. No. 196. 25 January 2018. pp. 100–105. ISSN 1478-5889.
  4. ^ "Making the Jaguar Roar" (PDF). GamePro. No. 69. IDG. June 1994. pp. 20–21.
  5. ^ "NG Alphas: Mr. Tank". Next Generation. No. 24. Imagine Media. December 1996. pp. 167–168.
  6. ^ "Rebellion acquires Clickwheel". The Beat. 21 February 2007.
  7. ^ "Rebellion picks up Tiga's game of the year award".
  8. ^ Remo, Chris (14 July 2009). "Rebellion Acquires Vivendi Licenses, Considers New Franchise Titles".
  9. ^ "Studio Profile: Rebellion". MCV. 29 April 2010 – via
  10. ^ "All change at Blackfish!". 25 February 2009. Archived from the original on 25 February 2009.
  11. ^ "Mongoose Joins Rebellion".
  12. ^ "Cubicle 7 acquisition".
  13. ^ "Rebellion acquires Solaris imprint - The Bookseller".
  14. ^ "Rebellion Acquires Vivendi Licenses, Considers New Franchise Titles". 14 July 2009.
  15. ^ "Rebellion acquires Vivendi properties, details future plans". Engadget. Retrieved 5 January 2022.
  16. ^ Graft, Kris. "Aliens Vs. Predator Tops BioShock 2 In UK".
  17. ^ "Rebellion Confirms HQ Layoffs, Derby Studio Closure". 18 March 2010.
  18. ^ "Rebellion confirms Derby closure, cuts at Oxford studio".
  19. ^ "Rebellion co-founder Jason Kingsley named OBE". MCV. 17 June 2012.
  20. ^ "Rebellion's Kingsley awarded OBE".
  21. ^ Lee, Aaron (22 July 2013). "Wargaming and Rebellion claim Atari IPs". MCV – via
  22. ^ "cubicle 7 leaves rebellion group - Cubicle 7".
  23. ^ Makuch, Eddie (30 September 2015). "Sniper Elite Series Sells 10 Million".
  24. ^ "Rebellion Acquires Fleetway and IPC Youth Group Archives".
  25. ^ "Rebellion Buys Fleetway Archive – Roy Of The Rovers, Oink, Tammy, Battle, Whizzer And Chips And More". 25 August 2016.
  26. ^ McMillan, Graeme (28 September 2018). "'2000 AD' Publisher Acquires TI Media Comic Archive". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  27. ^ Clarke, Stewart (25 November 2018). "Judge Dredd Owner Rebellion Sets Up $100 Million U.K. Film and TV Studio (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
  28. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (25 November 2018). "Rebellion spends $100m on new film studio space to help with Rogue Trooper movie, Judge Dredd TV show".
  29. ^ "Rebellion's first film, School's Out Forever, released next month". 20 January 2021.
  30. ^ a b Dring, Christopher (8 January 2018). "Rebellion buys Radiant Worlds".
  31. ^ a b Hoggins, Tom (3 January 2019). "Rebellion acquire TickTock Games to add to growing studio portfolio". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022.
  32. ^ Wales, Matt (25 November 2019). "Rebellion acquires The Bitmap Brothers' classic games portfolio". Eurogamer. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  33. ^ Tantimedh, Adi (20 September 2021). "Monster Fun: Rebellion Launches New British Kids' Comic in April 2022". Bleeding Cool News And Rumors. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  34. ^ "Rebellion Acquires AudioMotion". Gamasutra. 28 February 2003.
  35. ^ "About".
  36. ^ Jenkins, David (2 June 2006). "Rebellion Acquires Strangelite From Empire". Gamasutra.
  37. ^ a b c "From Judge Dredd To Harry Potter, Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley Is Spoiled When It Comes To IP". 8 August 2007.
  38. ^ "Rebellion Publishing".
  39. ^ a b c d "Kingsleys unleash ire of independent author community with Rebellion trademark".
  40. ^ "Rebellion Unplugged".
  41. ^ "Rebellion acquires Razorworks".
  42. ^ Dobson, Jason (9 March 2007). "Rebellion Acquires Ignition's Mercury Dev". Gamasutra.
  43. ^ Dobson, Jason (16 June 2006). "Rebellion Acquires Core Design Assets From SCi". Gamasutra.
  44. ^ "Rebellion confirms Derby closure, cuts at Oxford studio".
  45. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Strange Brigade - Launch Trailer - Nintendo Switch | E3 2021" – via YouTube.

External links edit